News Bites

A senior executive with Lufthansa said Berlin’s delayed airport should be “torn down and rebuilt.” The comment has drawn a rebuke from the CEO of the airport, whose opening is currently expected in 2020 — eight years behind schedule.

A pizzeria in Berlin set the world record for most cheeses on one pie: 111 varieties, confirmed by a Guinness representative.

Niki Lauda will launch Laudamotion in March. The airline is a successor to the insolvent Niki, taken down in the Air Berlin flameout. Mr. Lauda expects it to be in the black again by the second year. (Reuters)

Fraport, which runs Frankfurt’s airport, expects up to 68.5 million passengers this year after a record 64.5 million in 2017. Discount flyers are keeping Germany’s busiest airport … busy.

The price of steel and aluminum exported to the US by German manufacturers will increase by €400 million because of President Trump’s new tariffs, the head of the German chambers of commerce and industry said. (WirtschaftsWoche)

Bayer may have to shed more businesses to get US antitrust approval for its takeover of Monsanto, Bloomberg reported, causing shares in both companies to lose ground. Final approval may take months.

German prosecutors are investigating whether a negative report by Viceroy Research about broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 constituted market manipulation. The media company’s shares fell as much as 8% last week.

Asmallworld, a social networking site aiming to rival Facebook, plans to list on the Swiss stock exchange on March 20 with a valuation of 79.3 million Swiss francs ($83.7 million).

Germany’s 30 blue-chip companies earned €133 billion in operating profits last year, an all-time high and 17% higher than in 2016. Exports boosted the earnings.

snow ball

Hailing a cocaine cab in Berlin

Germans living in the capital are taking more coke than ever, thanks to the darknet, ocean liners and drug taxis.

Global growth

German blue chips post record profits, thanks to Trump and China

DAX-listed companies led by Daimler, VW and Allianz are reporting their best year ever for both sales and profits.

No Ordinary Oma

80-year old CEO ready to pass the baton after corporate raider leaves

Now that activist investor Guy Wyser-Pratte left satellite maker OHB, the German Mittelstand company's 80-year old founder can take a much needed break.

€10-million plus

German executive pay gets supersized

While still lagging their well-heeled American rivals, German CEOs are reaping huge payouts – when their companies turn a profit.

China, China, China

Uptick in Chinese investment has German authorities inspecting deals

Dramatic takeovers by Chinese companies in Germany have fueled the debate on the limits of investment freedom, with authorites inspecting all foreign deals.

Tobacco lobby: cigarette sales in Germany

Smoke-free future?

German tobacco lobby strikes back

When Philip Morris wants to quit cigarettes, you know things are bad. With sales declining and e-cigarettes rising, German manufacturers are gathering for a counter-offensive.

remote access

Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom’s ‘German cloud’ wafts away

Microsoft launched a "German-based cloud" for the security conscious only to see it fail. It may have cost the tech giant hundreds of millions, but it helped change German attitudes toward cloud computing.

Contouring Crowd

Germany’s makeup retailer Douglas prepares to take on Sephora

Makeup-loving millennials are Douglas CEO Tina Müller's top priority. So is embracing e-commerce and new products to edge out competitors, like Sephora.

Energiewende 2.0

E.ON’s billion-euro deal with RWE transforms German energy market

In the most profound shakeup of the energy industry since the country’s famed shift from nuclear, RWE is selling Innogy to rival E.ON. It creates two European titans: a power generator and an electricity retailer.

Open goal

Should Germany’s soccer clubs go global?

Germany is among the world’s great soccer nations, but traditionalism is stifling investment and development. Calls to allow foreign investors and commercialize the game are now growing.

Brain, biotech startup, alchemy, gold


German biotech company wants to turn old PCs into gold

Brain AG has a plan to extract the precious metal from electronic waste. Is it a revolution in the "circular economy," or a sophisticated twist on an ancient scam?

dog surfing

making waves

Giving German surfers a break, far from the sea

As surfing becomes more popular and the best spots get more crowded, wave machines and artificial surf pools are becoming a big business. Several German companies are making ridable waves.

Retail slowpokes

Aldi and Lidl are missing the digital boat

As the world's gone online, Germany's giant discount supermarkets have stayed clear of internet retailing. Although they're taking risks abroad, they aren't doing enough at home.

Pharma plans

New Stada owners cut dividend to fuel growth

Generic drugs giant Stada has had a difficult year following a messy buyout. Its figures remain sound, but investors will pay the price with a slashed dividend.

political backlash

Airbus plan to cut jobs brings calls for setting conditions on aid

Lawmakers urge link between government subsidies and preserving jobs in specific locations.

limiting expansion

German economy faces shortages as growth tests limits

Unfilled job openings and holes in supply chains threaten economic growth. The time to act is now.

Innovation Race

China’s Huawei crowned patent king in Europe

For the first time, a Chinese company came first in the number of patent applications in Europe last year. It’s a sign of China’s rapid drive into high tech.

Germany's Mittelstand

Battery problems threaten success of forklift firm

Jungheinrich has been making electric forklift trucks for 60 years. Demand is still strong but it faces a two-pronged problem: future battery supplies and increasing competition from automakers.

17-Percent Decline

The Trump Slump: German tourists avoid US as travel destination

For years, the US has been the most popular destination among Germans tourists. But since Donald Trump took office, bookings have dropped sharply.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Germany dominates the global trade-show business

History, geography and economics have made the country a global leader in a centuries-old method of matching buyers to sellers.

Achilles Heel

Rising prices of raw materials pose risk to German industry

Growing global demand for everything from aluminum to zinc is squeezing Germany’s muscular export economy.

Bernhard Günther

Acid attack on German executive stokes business fears

The CFO of renewable energy company Innogy was attacked on his way home from a bakery. The company's parent, RWE, has been confronting protestors over its open-pit coal mines.

Flight mode

Turbulence ahead as Airbus weighs job cuts amid delays

Orders are strong but Boeing’s rival Airbus is considering reducing its workforce due to problems with its engine supplier and longer term changes to its supply chain.

007's seat

Bond, James Bond. I sit on Interstuhl

The small German Mittelstand firm Interstuhl has placed 70 chairs it designed in three James Bond films. Sit on that.

Zalando executives


Zalando’s fashion empire

Online retailer Zalando is one of Europe's greatest startup success stories. By fusing fashion, technology and logistics, the company is redefining what modern retail is and what it can become.

SME Power


Volkswagen, Bayer and Adidas are household names. But more than 95 percent of Germany's economy is generated by lesser-known firms that aren’t listed on the blue-chip DAX Index.

Berlusconi or populists?

Businesses jittery ahead of Italy elections

Italy is enjoying a recovery after years of financial crisis. But as Italians go to the polls, family-owned businesses, a cornerstone of the economy, are worried about the outcome.

Holed below

ThyssenKrupp blocked from warship tender

Already suffering from allegations of bribery and cost overruns on several naval orders, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has now been barred from bidding to build Germany's next generation of battleships.

Profit Decline

Monsanto merger is the booster shot Bayer needs

Buying the US maker of seeds and weed killers could be the saving grace the German drug producer needs after a lackluster year.

conglomerate conundrum

New BASF boss needs to find the right chemistry

The world’s biggest chemicals company continues to sell and buy businesses, hoping to benefit from divestments in the Bayer-Monsanto merger, but is unlikely to follow in DowDuPont’s footsteps and break itself up.

Nord Stream

Trouble in the pipeline

With critics upping their attacks on the Nord Stream 2 Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline and government intervention now possible, the companies involved in the €10-billion project have launched a fierce defense.

Handelsblatt explains

Why German corporate governance is so different

For over a century, corporate governance evolved differently in Germany than in English-speaking countries: with a two-tier board system, where labor representatives often hold sway. To do business with German firms, foreigners need to understand the rules.

Weed-killer woes

Monsanto’s Roundup a looming liability for Bayer as megamerger nears

Class action lawsuits filed against Monsanto’s weed killer could sink the company’s tie-up with Bayer, despite concessions to win regulatory approval.

Cloud Cover

SAP is gearing up for battle against Salesforce

SAP CEO Bill McDermott talks about how he wants to overtake the CRM market leader in an exclusive interview with Handelsblatt.

Female executives

German companies that don’t try harder at gender equity could be fined millions

The next German government plans to enforce its gender quota rules more seriously, setting significant financial punishments for businesses that don’t appoint enough senior female managers.


How a century-old German photofinishing firm survived the digital revolution

The death of the darkroom almost put photo industry giants like Kodak out of business. But Germany’s Cewe, Europe’s largest maker of photo books and other printed products, rode the digital wave and is thriving.

Record Revenue

Henkel is not sexy, but it is profitable

Investors don't appear to be particularly enthused about Henkel, a consumer and chemicals group that makes mundane products like shampoo and glue. But the group's financial performance is something to be excited about.

€200-300 billion?

Mobile carriers’ next challenge: finding the money for 5G

The next generation of smartphones promises to revolutionize communications for T-Mobile and other firms. But carriers are worried about the huge investment costs that will be needed first.

High risk

Siemens, Total unit Saft form EU consortium to develop advanced batteries

European firms gear up to challenge Asian dominance of growing market for energy storage.


Profit and Loss Check

Once a year, we take a critical look at the financial health of each top German blue-chip company, all 30 on the DAX, ahead of their annual shareholders meetings.

Paper chase

German publishers cozy up to weather social media storm

The country's largest media groups, including Spiegel, Burda, Bauer and Funke Group, are ganging up to take on Google.